The Job Doctor is here to answer your questions on work, careers, and employment in Luxembourg.

Dear Job Doctor,

Is it too risky to change jobs during the pandemic?

When I hear a question like this, I tend to answer with a question, such as ‘what do you think?’.

It is normally taken as a closed question that elicits a yes or no answer.

We have on one side of the spectrum those who are naturally risk-averse and on the other side the risk-takers. The risk-averse rarely move companies voluntarily and risk-takers spend little time to consider jumping ship!

Most of the population are somewhere in between and skew to risk-averse, otherwise we’d see much more staff turnover.  However, during times of crises, such as the last financial crisis and today’s economic crisis people seem to gravitate to their most comfortable outliers.

The risk-averse will agonise over every reason not to move and if they make the decision to move, once they do resign, they are the most likely to accept a counter-offer from their existing employer and stay.

The risk-takers are likely to perceive the pandemic as an opportunity - maybe there is less competition for those sought-after roles, I’ll be the only one applying!

Motivations to leave

As a recruiter, I spend a lot of time to understand the motivations for someone considering a change. It may come as some surprise but having met and interviewed thousands of people looking for a new role, many do not know the real reason for considering a change, although they think they do. Uncovering your real motivations to leave is not as intuitive as you may think; an experienced recruiter or coach can uncover your perceived or subjective motivations and help you understand your real or objective motivations.

It’s important to understand the real motivations in order to question whether your current employer can manage them without having to look for new opportunities.

Do your homework

In Luxembourg there is a level of protection offered to employees with a long tenure or seniority. This is an important factor for those who are risk-averse.

To minimise the risks, do your homework. Carry out a comprehensive check on your future role and employer. There is a wealth of information available either paid or unpaid. A financial health check is important and for start-ups you should consider tactfully asking them to prove their financial stability.

Ask for employee turnover statistics and evaluate accordingly. For larger companies, you can find the employee turnover on LinkedIn.

Glassdoor can also contain revealing employee feedback.

If you are working with a recruitment consultant, ask them how long they have been working with the company and what has been their experience with the last people that were hired, maybe you could speak with one of them in confidence?

Luxembourg is small enough for you to take out your own references on an organisation, although it is important to have more factual than anecdotal evidence to back up what might be a subjective evaluation.

Final Decision

Once you have evaluated the new opportunity and the new organisation compared to your current one, and also taken out the necessary due diligence and risk evaluation, only then can you decide whether the benefits to change outweigh the risk factors.

Regardless of economic uncertainty, there is always an element of risk with changing jobs, just make sure it’s a calculated one.

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Darren Robinson has has been recruiting since 1996 and is currently the Managing Partner for Anderson Wise.